I’m sure you’ve seen all the videos of Teslas launching to 60 mph in under three seconds on YouTube. They’re everywhere, as owners love to show off just how violently the Model S can accelerate if equipped with Ludicrous Mode. However, Audi has a couple of fast accelerating cars as well, including the Audi RS6 Avant. So which one is faster in a quarter-mile drag race?
If the Tesla Model S is of the P90D variety (which the one in the test is), that means it’s the Performance variant that packs a 90 kWh battery and two electric motors. Those motors combine to make 532 hp and 713 lb-ft. That allows it to be the fastest accelerating sedan in the history of the automobile, doing 0-60 mph in about 2.8 seconds.
On the flip-side, the Audi RS6 Avant makes 560 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque from its twin-turbocharged 4.0 liter V8 engine. Mated to an eight-speed automatic that sends power through all four wheels, the RS6 is capable of 0-60 mph in about 3.7 seconds. While that’s almost a full second slower than the Tesla, its extra horsepower and capability to shift back into its power band eight times could make it faster over the long run.
So Top Gear put both together to see which is faster in a quarter-mile drag race. Off the line, the Tesla Model S simply fires off the line like only an electric car can. The RS6 is quick, but not as quick as the Tesla and has to play catch-up the entire race. Unfortunately for the Audi, it can’t make it in time and the Tesla wins, but the Audi was gaining. Had this been a 1/2 mile race, the Audi would have won.
The only Audi that can out-accelerate the Tesla Model S is the Audi R8 V10 Plus, which can do 0-60 mph in 2.6 seconds (as tested by Motor Trend). We’d like to see the R8 and Model S drag race to see which would win. We’d also like to see an Audi RS6 Performance model race the Model S, as it might fair better.